The Black Museum - Single Episodes
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THE BLACK MUSEUMOpening in 1875, the Crime Museum at Scotland Yard is the oldest museum in the world purely for recording crime. The name "Black Museum" was coined in 1877 by a reporter from "The Observer", a London newspaper, although the museum is still referred to as the Crime Museum. It is this museum that inspired The Black Museum radio series, produced in London by Harry Alan Towers.
From Jay Hickerson's "The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide To All Circulating Shows", the earliest US broadcast date was January 1, 1952. Thirty nine shows, from the full syndication of fifty two shows, aired over Mutual stations from January 1, 1952 through June 24, 1952 and September 30, 1952 through December 30, 1952.
This may be the earliest broadcast of the series worldwide. It was later broadcast over Radio Luxembourg starting May 7, 1953. Radio Luxembourg broadcast sponsored programs at night to England (the BBC was state-owned and had no commercials). The shows were sponsored by Dreft and Mirro (cleaning products).
The series continued to be offered in syndication and was heard on AFRTS broadcasts and in the US on NPR stations through the 1960's, 70's and 80's. Some shows were broadcast by the BBC in England in 1994.
This murder mystery series was based on true life cases from Scotland Yard's files. Each episode was based on an item or items of evidence in the museum.
Orsen Welles hosted and narrated the shows. Mr. Welles opened each show slightly differently but followed a standard format. For example, the show, "The Bathtub", open as follows:"This is Orson Welles speaking from London." (Big Ben starts himing in the background). "The Black Museum, repository of death... Here, in this grim stone structure on the Thames which houses Scotland Yard, is a warehouse of homicide, where everyday objects, a piece of wire, a chemist's flask, a silver shilling, all are touched by murder." (dramatic music)Following the opening, Mr. Welles would introduce the museum's item or items of evidence that was central to the case, leading into the dramatization. He also provided narration during the show and ended each show with his characteristic closing from the days of his Mercury Theater of the Air, remaining "obediently yours".
Harry Alan Towers produced the series from scripts written by Ira Marion. Music was composed and conducted by Sidney Torch.
The museum was not open to the general public. It's purpose was then, and still is, for police training, although it did receive a considerable number of famous people, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is currently used as a lecture theater for the police and like bodies in various subjects of Criminology. But, thanks to Mr. Towers and Mr. Welles, we can still get a glimpse of what secrets are housed in The Black Museum.
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
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- 2006-07-24 00:18:12
Subject: Regarding the previous comment
Subject: It's a product of its times...
But given how many recent reviews are coming from old, white, straight men yelling at the 21st century to get off their lawn--that's probably breathtakingly obvious.
Subject: Alternative to the Beeb for British TV viewers
As for British people seeking a break from the BBC and television licensing, here's an alternative. There are streaming devices that you can plug into the USB and/or HHDMI ports of your television that allow you to watch shows downloaded from the internet. I use a Roku Express, which costs US$30 and links my TV to my wifi. I can watch Deutsche Welle, France24, NHK from Japan, et al, for news (there are many other sources that can be accessed). You HAVE to have wifi but I've bookmarked as many as 144 free Roku channels out of over 5,000 to choose from and haven't paid for TV since 2017.
The BBC once a bastion of impartial reporting, of stating the ‘political manifesto’s’ of all three mainstream U.K. political party’s......
Sadly they have long since abandoned any notion of fair and impartial reporting, and alas, gone completely over to the ‘Dark Side’ in the culture wars, spouting and pontificating anything the liberal left want them too.
Tis the reason thousands (self included) have resigned their stake in the BBC by virtue of returning the TV Licence and not taking up the compulsory and state owned pressure to own and buy a tv licence... [for the uninitiated, in the length and breadth of our beautiful country] as stated by *Essayist* above, it is against the law here in the U.K. to watch any live tv or live at time of broadcast, (say a channel decided they are showing a soap, film, or even the news) you can be taken to court get a huge fine as well as paying the bbc costs to boot, Why? Because you dare to watch any channel, whether cable
or satellite (not owned or run by the bbc) you still need a licence which is renewed annually 😳😳🤮😞
Subject: Private or Public
BBC is a public corporation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 government agencies and public bodies.
In other words although the BBC is not a State Broadcaster it is wholly owed Broadcaster of the State which is charged with impartial broadcasting of news, entertainment and education without fear or favour.
Unfortunately in recent years that impartiality has been subject to question with its heavy left wing bias and promotion of social, woke and politically correct issues which have alienated a large section of the licence paying public.
The Black Museum recording are excellent and hark back to the great days of the BBC. Unfortunately that is no longer the case.
Subject: BBC is not state-owned
However, there is an incorrect sentence in the introductory episode: "Radio Luxembourg broadcast sponsored programs at night to England (the BBC was state-owned and had no commercials)."
It is true that Radio Luxembourg was a commercial radio station and that its programmes were supported by advertising. It is also true that the BBC (which at that time included the Home Service, the Light Programme and the Third Programme) had no adverts whatsoever.
It is NOT true that the BBC is, or has ever been, "state-owned", despite frequent allegations in US media that it is a "government broadcaster", "government-owned", "state broadcaster", etc.. The BBC is a public corporation, independent of the state, and supported by a licence fee paid by listeners. (That fee is now only paid by people with televisions, no longer for radio, which would now be impossible to enforce.) The only state involvement is support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (what in other countries is called the Foreign Ministry) for the BBC World Service, which is nevertheless run independently and is relied upon worldwide by billions of people for verifiable up-to-date information, as opposed to the propaganda and "fake news" or "alternative facts" supplied by some other national radio and TV broadcasters.
Subject: The Black Museum - Single Episodes
Just found this,
The Black Museum Bill Waddell Documentary 1988
Subject: Program radio
Subject: The Black Museum for Young and Old
Subject: Classic series
Subject: Really Amazing
Subject: Black Museum
has produced plots far more original than
any concocted by mere writer's invention. Coupled
with Orson Welles narration, a really enjoyable
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